Total Posts:3|Showing Posts:1-3
Jump to topic:

Stephen Toulmin, Philosopher, R.I.P

dogparktom
Posts: 112
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/17/2009 6:34:00 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Stephen Toulmin, R.I.P.

http://www.nytimes.com...

The Toulmin Model of Argument
Arguing that absolutism lacks practical value, Toulmin aimed to develop a different type of argument, called practical arguments (also known as substantial arguments). In contrast to absolutists' theoretical arguments, Toulmin's practical argument is intended to focus on the justificatory function of argumentation, as opposed to the inferential function of theoretical arguments. Whereas theoretical arguments make inferences based on a set of principles to arrive at a claim, practical arguments first find a claim of interest, and then provide justification for it. Toulmin believed that reasoning is less an activity of inference, involving the discovering of new ideas, and more a process of testing and sifting already existing ideas—an act achievable through the process of justification.

Toulmin believed that a good argument can succeed in providing good justification for a claim that will stand up to criticism and earn a favourable verdict. In The Uses of Argument (1958), Toulmin proposed a layout containing six interrelated components for analyzing arguments:

Claim A conclusion whose merit must be established. For example, if a person tries to convince a listener that he is a British citizen, the claim would be "I am a British citizen."

(1) Evidence (Data) A fact one appeals to as a foundation for the claim. For example, the person introduced in 1 can support his claim with the supporting data "I was born in Bermuda."

(2) Warrant A statement authorizing movement from the data to the claim. In order to move from the data established in 2, "I was born in Bermuda," to the claim in 1, "I am a British citizen," the person must supply a warrant to bridge the gap between 1 and 2 with the statement "A man born in Bermuda will legally be a British citizen."

(3) Backing Credentials designed to certify the statement expressed in the warrant; backing must be introduced when the warrant itself is not convincing enough to the readers or the listeners. For example, if the listener does not deem the warrant in 3 as credible, the speaker will supply the legal provisions as backing statement to show that it is true that "A man born in Bermuda will legally be a British citizen." Rebuttal Statements recognizing the restrictions which may legitimately be applied to the claim. The rebuttal is exemplified as follows: "A man born in Bermuda will legally be a British citizen, unless he has betrayed Britain and has become a spy of another country." Qualifier Words or phrases expressing the speaker's degree of force or certainty concerning the claim. Such words or phrases include "probably," "possible," "impossible," "certainly," "presumably," "as far as the evidence goes," and "necessarily." The claim "I am definitely a British citizen" has a greater degree of force than the claim "I am a British citizen, presumably."

The first three elements, "claim," "data," and "warrant," are considered as the essential components of practical arguments, while the second triad, "qualifier," "backing," and "rebuttal," may not be needed in some arguments.

When Toulmin first proposed it, this layout of argumentation was based on legal arguments and intended to be used to analyze the rationality of arguments typically found in the courtroom. Toulmin did not realize that this layout could be applicable to the field of rhetoric and communication until his works were introduced to rhetoricians by Wayne Brockriede and Douglas Ehninger. Only after Toulmin published Introduction to Reasoning (1979) were the rhetorical applications of this layout mentioned in his works.
Toulmin's argument model has inspired research on, for example, argument maps and associated software

I have read several of Toulmin's books, including his The Uses of Argument. I recommend reading Toulmin.
dogparktom
Posts: 112
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/18/2009 11:29:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/17/2009 7:20:56 PM, USAPitBull63 wrote:
I teach the Toulmin model. I'll bring this article to work tomorrow.

Thanks for posting this, DPT.

Here is the source. http://en.wikipedia.org... Sorry for not posting it.